Thursday, September 03, 2020

Notes on an apocalypse

May I ruin your day...? Thanks. You know how much I enjoy making people feel miserable.

Those number are based purely on the inherent bias of the electoral college. And then there's the problem of rigged tabulation machines in key states.

According to this much-trumpeted Fox News poll, Biden is up only four points in North Carolina. Many feel that election riggers work within a three-to-five point margin, because a too-obvious "nudge" might give the game away.

Fakes. Barr says that foreign countries will create fake mailed-in ballots. Translation: The Trumpists intend to create fakes themselves. Or maybe the friendly Russians will provide, though they will probably find some way to frame the Chinese. Just a few fakes could suffice to create chaos.

Changing the tallies. I've long maintained that vote-rigging occurred in Wisconsin in 2016 -- where, in some precincts, the votes cast for Trump outnumbered the registered voters. Let's look at this recent thread from Sarah Kendzior of Gaslit Nation.
The mantra 'no vote tallies were changed' is misleading. They weren't in a position to know. They didn't really monitor county election systems. If you wanted to alter a vote outcome, you'd do it at the county level.

The Kremlin changed Ukraine's presidential election results in 2014. Ukraine, being used to Kremlin aggression, caught it quickly and changed it back. But the US was a sitting duck in 2016.

The truth is, we don't know if vote tallies were changed in 2016. We can suspect one way or the other, but we don't know. It is misinformation to say definitively that they weren't.

The only way to know if electronic vote tallies were changed is to conduct a robust manual audit or full manual recount with a reliable paper trail. Many places in 2016 didn't have paper at all.

It hasn't gotten enough attention that Trump blocked the recount. It's not so different than in 2000 when the GOP blocked a recount. The big difference in 2016 is that we didn't have the Dem party getting behind a recount.

The Dems backed themselves into a corner in 2016. Trump proclaimed the election rigged, which prompted the Dems to overstate the security of the election system and look like hypocrites if they sought a recount.

"I'm very concerned that I'm seeing the same thing now. The same 'adults in the room' who landed us in this terrible place are focused exclusively on the possibility that the electronic outcome will favor Biden, not considering vote tallies being changed.
Trump's lawyers did everything possible to prevent both recounts and forensic examinations of the tabulators in Wisconsin and Minnesota. At the time, Trumpist propaganda convinced the public that recounts were a waste of taxpayer money, even though no taxpayer money was involved: The recounts were paid for by public donations.

In my opinion, every election should have a paper trail. Moreover, every election -- no matter how lopsided -- should be counted and recounted as a matter of routine political hygeine. Similarly, outside parties should check the tabulation devices -- and even then, a paper trail should always make a hand count possible. Indeed, the hand count should be the official tally.

Any candidate who impedes a recount might as well have the word "GUILTY" stamped on his forehead.

Nevertheless, let us imagine a Biden victory. It's a pleasant fantasy, innit? Even more pleasant: The thought of Trump being arrested minutes after Biden takes power. Are there grounds?

Obviously, a proper investigation of Trump should yield plenty of grounds. But for those of us who want to see an immediate frog-march, this story offers vast possibilities. Although I'm too lazy to look up the specific law, my understanding is that directing others to commit the crime of voter fraud is itself a crime.

QAnon and anti-Semitism. This examination by Forward is a good start, but just a start. I wish there has been further discussion of the adrenochrome hoax, an obvious update of the old anti-Jewish "blood libel."

Many writers don't understand that far-rightists have a history of re-packaging anti-Semitic conspiracy tropes, using some trendy euphemism to replace the word "Jews." In QAnon culture, that euphemism is often "elites."

Conspiracy theory is an addictive substance. The dope peddler's goal is to create as many paranoia junkies as possible. Once the addicts are well-and-truly hooked, they will want an armful of the real shit. That's when the dope-pushers will hand out Jew-hatred unadulterated by euphemism. 

I also wish that the Forward writers would look into Peter Thiel and his connections to Rene Girard. I view QAnon as a weaponization of Girard's views on scapegoating.

Seriously, is Antifa trying to elect Trump? See here and here.

It should never be forgotten that demonstrators using Black Bloc tactics have been infiltrated for years. Here's an example from as far back as 2001. If it happened then, what makes you think it's not happening now?

Since the right hates the Mayor of Portland, he'd make a perfect target for those intent on framing the left.

This story from 2011 offers superb insight into the mentality of those attracted to the Black Bloc milieu.
They are punk-anarchist, political enough to claim anarchism as justification for taking drugs, acting out, and generally giving people a hard time.

“Mostly young, street-punks or wannabees; 50 years ago, they’d have been called alienated youth, or juvenile delinquents. Basically, these are kids who have been so trodden upon that they are desperate; so they become desparados. Angry, uncaring, sadly damaged, they are the people who were never socialized, perhaps barely housebroken. Often seriously abused as children, they are responding in kind to the world.

“Not as organized as a gang, but if they were less nihilist, they’d probably form a gang. Very easily infiltrated and influenced by provocateurs, but they are prone to vandalism and violence entirely by themselves. They like breaking windows and burning cars, for it’s own sake, so doing it with political justification is really fun. These are the kind of people who turn into Charlie Mansons – or followers of the Charlie Mansons.

“Some of them are astonishingly intelligent, brilliantly creative, and terribly, terribly bitter about every aspect of life. They are a symptom of society’s madness and violence. Some of them take on that role consciously, and argue with great fervor that their vandalism is a logical political response to the conditions of their life – that violence is the only rational response to a pathological society. They are the De Sade’s of the present revolution.
These are also the "leftists" most likely to morph into far-rightists -- what we might call the Jason Kessler trajectory.
An individual who knew Kessler during his involvement with Occupy alleged Kessler had shown up at then-Lee Park with “his own tent and literature,” and noted Kessler was eventually voted out of the group for advocating violence against police using bricks and Molotov cocktails.
Five years later, Kessler was waving the Confederate battle flag and denouncing Jews. The "Antifa" radicals in Portland today will probably make the same journey.

This interesting essay examines Antifa and the Alt Right as two sides of the same coin.

Finally: On Laura Ingraham's show, Trump accused Biden of being "on some kind of enhancement." In other words, Trump says that Biden keeps alert by popping pills. I'm surprised that so few people have noted Trump's follow-up remark: "Biden's a fatso who married a gold digger with a big rack who obviously can't stand him. And he's really orange."


joseph said...

Prosecution of Trump:
Black Lives Matter: Not a national organization, rather a decentralized movement or slogan. Without a recognized hierarchy, any lunatic becomes the spokesman. For the movement to go anywhere, there has to be a structure, like Planned Parenthood. The movement should stick to one point, Black Lives Matter, Too.
Kessler: The True Believer, Eric Hoffer.

b said...

A few hours ago, Trump retweeted a tweet that starts with the words "I'm not kidding, I truly believe that Donald Trump was sent by God". His only added words were "Thank you!!!" Sounds like he felt real good as he kept his finger on that "!" key.

Trump has already claimed to have had a conversation with God. Now he thanks a retarded MAGA-hat wearer for saying he believes Trump was sent by God.

Somebody has absolutely got to make a video about Trump based on this song that praised Putin.

Make it, and Trump will retweet it. Lard-arsed gun-fondling wrestling fans will think it's genuine! Will "the suburbs" go with the wrestling fans or will they go with the "intellectuals" who are aware of which happened first, WW1 or the US civil war? :-) As Karl Marx would put it, let's make shame more shameful still.

Brutality is never pleasant - only psychos think otherwise - but we need to be brutal with Trump. Otherwise the m***erf***er will win again. Everyone who wants to remove him from office should make a contribution. Gotta agree with Michael Moore about that. Help to trigger a mental collapse, whatever. Reduce him to an even greater mess than he is. Push him over the edge of the catastrophe curve - this wretch of a man who tells the US citizenry they are "lucky" to have him as president, and who whinges that being president has cost him between $2bn and $5bn. (What an "oil sheikh" attitude that is!)

Most satire aimed at powerful government figures doesn't weaken them much. It functions as a safety valve. But "most" is not "all". We need some that does.

That video did Putin no damage and it may even have helped him. But Trump is no Putin. A hundred Trumps wouldn't reach up to Putin's kneecap. (Putin also has some redeeming qualities - e.g. he can sing nicely and he loves dogs.) There has got to be some kind of ripping the piss out of Trump that WOULD work, given that he is, unlike Putin, a) deranged and b) a moron.

b said...

Eric, Donald Jr, Ivanka, and Jared, or at least some of them, may be served with criminal indictments in the near future. Donald Sr has been foaming at the mouth about New York recently - sneering that so many residents are leaving, threatening to defund it. What's he scared of?

b said...

Donald Trump said that US service personnel who died in war were "losers" and "suckers". The story is that in 2018 he cancelled a visit to the Aisne-Marne US cemetery near Paris, asking "Why should I go to that cemetery? It’s filled with losers." On the same trip he also referred to the more than 1800 marines who lost their lives at Belleau Wood as "suckers" for getting killed.

So it's not just that Trump insulted John McCain for having been captured in Vietnam (where McCain spent two years in solitary confinement), sneering "I like people who weren't captured." We now know there is a pattern here.

What's his problem?

It seems to me that he can't think of a dead US serviceman without thinking of his elder brother Fred Jr, whom he utterly hated and still hates the memory of - the brother who rejected their father's plan that he should become the most rapacious and selfish "killer" in the world, a role that his father then awarded to Donald himself. Instead of following that route, Fred Jr became a pilot, completed his officer training, and qualified in the Air Force National Guard as a second lieutenant. We can assume that unlike Donald the Super Fake when he needed to sit exams, Fred Jr didn't pay anybody to impersonate him.

As far as Donald Trump, the current US commander-in-chief, is concerned, dead US servicemen seem to be the scum of the earth. I don't know whether to his mind they are lower than evicted tenants who have had all their belongings thrown out on to the street. But they may well be.

The root of Trump's contempt for the men and women who join the armed forces and die young will surely be crystal clear to his niece Mary, Fred Jr's daughter, whom he has foully gloated was "never liked" by her own grandfather.

Active-duty service personnel are breaking 41%-37% for Biden. Hopefully Biden's lead in that demographic will increase further.